This time of the year tends to get busy for all of us. Last week our 8th grade students graduated and they are moving on. This coming week our school will close for the summer. Most of the ministries and activities will shut down for the summer. Families and especially children are looking forward to summer vacations. This year our parish is getting even busier as we await the arrival of two new associates and bid good bye to Fr John and Fr Muraya.
In this column I want to thank Fr John in a very special way. He and I came to St Paul’s at the same time. From the first day he impressed me as being a people person who is deeply pastoral. Having him as a roommate in the rectory has been a delight. Over the last five years we have had many meals, fun times and deep conversations together. He has always been helpful. He took his ministerial assignments seriously and carried them out with joy and enthusiasm. He loves our children and young people. The only thing we disagreed on was about having a rectory dog. Jokes aside, it has been a joy to have him as the associate the last five years. He has blessed our parish tremendously and he will be sorely missed.
We wish Fr John God’s abundant blessings as he begins a new chapter as the Pastor of St Gilbert’s. Our prayers go with him. We are certain that the people of Grayslake will love him as much as we do. Personally I am going to miss a priest brother who cherishes his priesthood and loves his people.
Change is hard for all of us. And yet change is inevitable. Bodies change. People change. Organizations change. If we do not change, we die. Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher said: “We do not bathe in the same river twice.” Fr Musula left us two years ago, and now our parish community has to deal with another major transition in a short span of time. However, I am convinced that in the grand scheme of things this change will work out for the best for all of us. I only ask that we keep our hearts and minds open. This is the only prayer we need to pray. We need to pray that God’s will be done in our lives and in our parish community. Being open to God’s design is the best way to find authentic peace. As the Italian poet, Dante, wrote, “Your will is my peace!”
I would like to suggest a special prayer for this time of transition. If it helps, perhaps you can pray this prayer in your homes during the coming weeks and months.
Ever-present God and Father,
You call us to embark on a journey to an unfamiliar place,
just as you called Abraham to go to a distant land.
We are not where we started.
We have not yet reached our destination.
We are unsure of where we are or where you are leading us.
The unfamiliar fazes us; the unknown scares us.
Walk with us on our journey. Hold our hand.
Just as you accompanied the two disciples on the road to Emmaus,
be our companion on the road.
Calm our fears and take away our worries.
Speak to us your words of comfort.
Explain the Scriptures to us.
Open our eyes so that we may recognize You at the Breaking of the Bread.
Stay with us, Lord, all the days of our lives.
May God bless our parish and all of us!
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...